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Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
News

Targets Women, Kurds, LGBT People, Democratic Safeguards

(Istanbul) – The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms  in Turkey on a scale unprecedented in the 18 years he has been in office, said Human Rights Watch today. The government…
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, March 18, 2020
News

Arrests of Activists and Anti-LGBT Stance Mars Women’s Day Celebrations

(Istanbul) – Turkish authorities should immediately put a stop to the criminal investigation opened into women’s rights activists for shouting slogans at a March 8, 2021 International Women’s Day assembly in central Istanbul and ensure that judicial…
Women and the LGBTQI community celebrate the upcoming International Women's Day in Istanbul, Turkey on March 6, 2021.
News

Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
News

Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
News

Transparent Inquiry Needed into Latest Politically Motivated Killing

(Beirut) – Eastern Libyan authorities should promptly investigate the apparent politically motivated killing of a lawyer, Human Rights Watch said today. Hanan Al-Barassi, an outspoken critic of violations by armed groups in eastern Libya, was shot…
Hanan Al-Barassi, a Benghazi-based lawyer, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen on November 10, 2020, in her hometown.
News

Allow Aid Access, Disclose Names of People Detained

(Tunis) – Forces allied with one of Libya’s two competing governments who appear to have defeated local fighters in the Old City quarter of Derna, in eastern Libya, should immediately allow aid and medical workers into the area, Human…
A general view of Derna city, Libya, February 9, 2019. © 2019 Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

‘She Decides’ Summit to Counter Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

(Brussels) – Governments should pledge political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health to counter the United States’ “Global Gag Rule,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden are hosting a summit in…
Women and girls wait with their children outside a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal.
News

Order in Eastern Region Requires Male Guardian for Travel

UPDATE: On February 23, Abdelrazeq al-Nadhouri, chief of staff of the forces known as the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the military governor of the region that extends from Derna to Ben Jawwad, repealed his order requiring women who wish to…
Libyan women celebrate the third anniversary of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi at Freedom Square in Benghazi, February 17, 2014.
News

Over 120 Women, Children Held in Misrata Prison

(Tunis) – Libyan authorities should ensure the safety of and urgently provide medical care for more than 120 women and children being held in a Misrata prison after recently fleeing fighting in Sirte, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should…
MENA-2016-Libya-Jawiyyah-prison
Report
Summary The final stage of the [2011] revolution was in Sirte. We were filled with hope. Then step by step, Daesh took over. Now we feel we are cursed. -“Ali,” resident who fled ISIS in Sirte In…
News
TRIPOLI — What started as a normal day for an ordinary young woman here in Libya turned into a nightmare when a security guard at her public university physically and verbally attacked her, trying to bar her from entering her classroom because she was not…
News

Gender discrimination still permeates Libyan laws and institutions

TRIPOLI, Libya — “I have waited my whole life for tomorrow, which will be a new day for Libya,” an elated Haja Nowara told Human Rights Watch on the eve of Libya’s first democratic national elections in July 2012. “We sacrificed a lot to get here.” We…